For New Yorkers of a certain age and musical orientation, the hardcore matinee shows at the legendary club CBGB were less an entertainment choice than a lifestyle choice. Every weekend, you would come in from Brooklyn, Westchester, the Upper East Side, you name it, see the Cro-Mags and Agnostic Front share the bill with amateur bands that time forgot, and then get home in time for dinner with your family. Those days are now decades in the past, and CBGB long ago shuttered its doors, but the memories remain.
Guitarist Rob Echeverria lived those days as both a fan and then as a musician in such bands as Straight Ahead and Rest In Pieces. He hit the big time in the 1990s, playing with Helmet and Biohazard, but he walked away from the music business entirely in 1999. His focus these days is on physical fitness, his marriage and his rescue dogs, but his CBGB memories are still sacred to him.
“Playing CBGB’s was always great,” he said. “The most memorable time was probably around 1984. Most bands only had demos or at best a 7-inch. At that time everything was fresh and exciting for me. I was coming onto a scene that was way different than the metal scene I was used to. Seeing Agnostic Front, the Cro-Mags, Reagan Youth and bands from out of town like the Offenders, Adrenaline O.D., C.O.C. was amazing.”
Echeverria was originally influenced by such bands as Deep Purple and the mighty Black Sabbath, and those bands have remained as dear to him as the ones he shared a stage with way back when, so when he made this playlist for us he focused on the hardcore matinee glory days and also put in the metal and hard rock stuff that had influenced him. So when you listen to this playlist, remember that Discharge and ZZ Top are more closely related than it seems.